The books on this list by conceptually are quite useful. The ones I’ve read and thought are useful I’ve listed below.
Thinking Fast and Slow
The Undercover Economist
The Righteous Mind
The Better Angels of our Nature
The Signal and the Noise
Some others I have found useful
4DX—How to execute plans efficiently (meant more for people in charge of orgs or teams but still applicable to individuals)
Good Strategy/Bad Strategy—Summary of a useful strategy framework
The Charisma Myth
The Art of Gathering
The Art of Community
You Are Not So Smart
Also two EA reading lists that cover poverty, future generations, animal welfare, psychology, productivity, career/business and advocacy.
Not the posts exactly, but there is the EA London blog page which contains all the newsletters although they include events and job postings that might be less relevant.
I’d be happy for other people to make posts if they’ve found something they want to dive into.
I think the gist of the “Heretical Knot” is that we could always do more good, and so we are always second guessing ourselves and burning out attempting to do more.
Here is an edited version of the dissertation mentioned earlier. It has had most of the non EA London related content removed to help make it more relevant.
An ethnographic exploration of ethics, empathy and data practises within the London Effective Altruist community
I remember a couple of people doing something slightly similar to this.
Dan Artus wrote a dissertation in 2018 - “An ethnographic exploration of ethics,empathy and data practises within the London Effective Altruist community”
Nick Philips wrote a thesis about the EA movement in 2015 -”Rational Faith: A Study of the Effective Altruism Movement ”
Imperial university has just launched the worlds first centre for psychedelics research.
“The new Imperial Centre for Psychedelic Research will build on over a decade of pioneering work in this area carried out at Imperial, including a clinical trial that has kick-started global efforts to develop psilocybin therapy into a licensed treatment for depression. ”
I’m not sure that many people who push for moral obligations hold inconsistent views. These seem like two mainly distinct sets of people.
Most people I speak to either think people are morally obligated to do actions that might improve the world, whether that’s veganism, frugality etc or they take the more laid back approach.
I’d also say there are some differences between eating factory farmed meat and spending on ineffective charities, mainly that a world that still has factory farmed meat is hard to imagine as one of the best worlds compared to one where people still give money to ineffective charities.
I think they said they were shifting it to CEA. That probably makes sense to have one organisation deal with grants, support and tech rather than two separate ones.
I think I disagree with this piece because although I think it’s true that places are valuable for connecting, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be a place that people own. In London we can use pubs, cafes and parks, often for free with just a picnic blanket indicating the edge of this space that separates the conversations from the outside world.
Similar to Milan I agree with the main point of your comment and also think that the EA community conforms less than the majority of communities.
Maybe ironically, I also think that there is a relative lack of experience with communities in general among a lot of people interested in EA, which makes it harder for people to know what is expected, such as using group slang, strong identities, close connections and group ‘rituals’ which are very common in most communities.
It’s good to see people trying small low cost experiments like this although I suspect there are diminishing returns to how many people will be interested if you try a similar post again but that’s also why it’s good that you’ve given a framework for others to copy.
At EA London I haven’t given as many books out in the last 12 months as the previous 12 as I’ve usually only given them to people after a 1-1 meeting or significant interest from someone at an event where it seems more likely that they’ll actually read it and want to take away some advice rather than offering to give it to people who are more interested in the idea of a “free book”.
The EA forum is a forum with just two categories so it functions more like a news board, which means most conversation ends up happening in bespoke Facebook groups for various causes, careers and interest groups. Facebook has a similar problem of losing good posts and conversations, which might have been stickied in a traditional forum with multiple categories and sub-categories.
There may be advantages to having these discussions happen on Facebook as people might be more likely to check, although it does make it hard to find out where the conversations are happening.
I massively agree with most of this and when talking to people about careers I try to help them find a field that fascinates them and has the potential to be leveraged in the future. At the risk of over simplifying, EA organisations seem to be “experience-constrained” which can’t be solved by just getting smart graduates to work in EA jobs.
I think I disagree slightly that there needs to be a “task Y”, it may be the case that some people will have an interest in EA but wont be able to contribute. Just as there people who have an interest in evidence based medicine but don’t get an opportunity to contribute to medical journals or become doctors. The aim of EA isn’t to make use of all resources available, even if it may seem like a lost opportunity not to.
Also I think the EA community is a subset of the EA movement, and lots of people have positive impact whilst rarely or never engaging online/in person and it might be a mistake to focus on just the community part. This post though might lead to people being happier to focus on their own field and potentially reengaging when it makes sense to.
Online content is generally the amount of people that open or click on an email (but baring in mind that long term, getting more clicks relies on your community trusting you to have content they want to click on rather than clickbait).
Occasionally people also send replies saying they value newsletters and when I ask people in person what they value, that sometimes gets mentioned.